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World War 1
World War 1 Mini Topic

Learn about the causes of the war, the western front and its trenches, the home front, the end of the war and how we commemorate this hugely significant historical event today.

Session 1 Causes of the War

Objectives

History

  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.
  • A study of a significant turning point in British history.
  • Continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms.

English

  • Pupils should become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate.

Teaching and Activities

What were the reasons for this war starting? Act out and debate the different events and trends that led to the start of the first World War. Start a timeline of events leading up to the war.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore the causes of the First World War.
  • Improvise some events leading up to the start of the First World War.

Children will:

  • Create a timeline of events that led up to the start of the First World War.
  • Act out some of the main events leading up to the war.
  • Discuss the causes of the First World War.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 2 The Western Front

Objectives

History

  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.
  • A study of a significant turning point in British history.
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

English

  • Discuss writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.
  • Build on what they have learnt, particularly in terms of the range of their writing and the more varied grammar, vocabulary and narrative structures from which they can draw to express their ideas

Teaching and Activities

Young men lied about their age to fight on the front line, and many soldiers travelled a long way from across the British Empire to join the fighting. From various sources find out about what it was like when they got there. Make a trench in the classroom with tables, and get chn to record their thoughts and write a poem in a diary while sitting in 'trenches'.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore the different sources about what life was like at the Western Front.
  • Write a diary about life in the trenches.

Children will:

  • Use sources to make a recreation of a trench more accurate.
  • Make a collaborative design for a trench constrained by resources and space.
  • Make a booklet out of folded paper.
  • Do some creative writing about life in the trenches.

You Will Need

  • A4 paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencils.

Session 3 The Home Front

Objectives

History

  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.
  • A significant turning point in British history.
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Teaching and Activities

With so many people off fighting a war around the world, how did life at home change? Find out about the essential war work done at home, much of it by a new work force of women. Paint some propaganda posters urging people at home to help with the war effort.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore the different sources showing what life was like on the Home Front.
  • To paint their own versions of First World War posters.

Children will:

  • Explore sources about life on the Home Front.
  • Improvise some scenarios on the Home Front to explore what life was like.
  • Analyse First World War posters.
  • Paint their own version of a First World War poster on a specific topic.

You Will Need

  • Paper
  • Poster paints
  • Paintbrushes.

Weblinks

Great Wharton - a site created by the National Archives from nationalarchives.gov.uk
10 ways children helped during the First World War from iwm.org.uk
Women in munitions factories from iwm.org.uk
Jobs women did in the First World War from ibtimes.co.uk
Win the war cook book menu from greatfoodclub.co.uk
Original wartime recipes from the great war from lavenderandlovage.com
Recipes found in old newspapers from britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
A walk through practice trench from telegraph.co.uk
Practice trenches from homefrontlegacy.org.uk

Session 4 War is Over

Objectives

History

  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.
  • A significant turning point in British history; Continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms.

English

  • Become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Teaching and Activities

Find out how the war ended and what happened immediately afterwards. Add these to your class timeline. Act out what the people of Britain would have felt. Discuss what the different people present at the peace meetings might have said and how they might have reacted to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out how the war ended.
  • To improvise events from the end of the First World War.
  • To create flags of countries related to the First World War.

Children will:

  • Put events in chronological order and decide on their significance.
  • Devise improvisations in reaction to historical events.
  • Discuss the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Create flags of some countries involved in the war.

You Will Need

  • Pencils
  • Paint
  • Collage material
  • Straws
  • Glue

Session 5 Remembrance

Objectives

History

  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.
  • A significant turning point in British history; Construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • Note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms.

English

  • Become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Teaching and Activities

At the end of the First World War a day of commemoration was created to remember the dead. Recreate the main events in a Remembrance Day service and talk about the significance of each part.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about Remembrance events.
  • To recreate a Remembrance event.
  • To create poppies.

Children will:

  • Discuss the reasons for remembering the dead of the First World War.
  • Make a poppy.
  • Create their own Remembrance Day service and act it out.

You Will Need

  • Red and black tissue paper
  • Red and black yarn
  • Black buttons
  • White fairy cake cases
  • White paper plates
  • Green pipe cleaners